Saturday, May 14, 2011

Universae Ecclesiae and the Seminary

In paragraph 21, the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae says the following:

Ordinaries are asked to offer their clergy the possibility of acquiring adequate preparation for celebrations in the forma extraordinaria. This applies also to Seminaries, where future priests should be given proper formation, including study of Latin and, where pastoral needs suggest it, the opportunity to learn the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite.

If there is one letdown for traditionalists in the document, it is right here.  The simple truth is that for far too many seminarians, to be a traditionalist is to be one in secret.  Some seminaries people to local Extraordinary Form Masses to see if any seminarians are going to them.  While those seminarians aren't retaliated against officially, they will be monitored more closely, talked to more frequently, and extra pressure will be placed to get them away from that Mass.  Of course, it also goes without saying that the seminary will supply no training whatsoever for these future priests on learning that Mass.

Now if Fr. Z's exegesis of the Latin is to be believed (and being Fr. Z, it is), the vernacular translation of this paragraph is just downright awful.

Yet here is my question for everyone to ponder:  Do you want these same liberal seminaries who have done their best to smother the Extraordinary Form out of existence to instruct people on how to say that Mass?  The only real solution of this is to trust the power of demography to replace all these people who are setting themselves up in opposition to the Holy Father's wishes.  Yet what can be done short-term?

1 comment:

  1. While it is a let down to traditionalists, my theory is that this was written more "softly" for those seminaries in areas where there might be a true reverence for the faith but lack of resources or qualified teachers.

    I could be totally wrong about this, but lets say there is a seminary in Africa or India that is understandably "poor" and doesn't have professors who even know Latin (due to the simple fact they were never taught) yet none the less present orthodox Catholicism. To say these places "must" teach Latin and the TLM is to put a burden on them they cannot fulfill, at least this early on in the game.

    I think UE21 is a building block, just as other things have been. There is no short-term solution to this problem.

    As for your question regarding liberal seminaries teaching the TLM, I don't see the "danger". If a liberal instructor is going against the plain rubrics, the seminarian will have questions raised. More importantly, the awe and reverence inherent in the TLM would likely be too much to handle for the liberal instructor, while at the same time open the heart and mind of the seminarian to desire it and go further.


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